Mashed potatoes are a versatile side dish, and although they’re easy to make, using instant mashed potatoes has become convenient in a busy world. First invented in 1952, instant mashed potatoes are even used by some fast-food chains, as revealed by employees.
Instant potato recipes will tell you to simply add the package of potato flakes to boiling water, but according to RealSimple, you should instead substitute water for a dairy product, such as milk, half-and-half, or even buttermilk. The addition of milk will bring richness to the spuds, making them creamier and smoother than you would get with a water base.
For those who are lactose intolerant, or simply don't have enough milk to spare at the moment, RealSimple suggests adding chicken broth instead. This will give the potatoes a much more complex flavor as well, so trust your palate on how much you'll need.